Sidewalk FAQ

Date Posted: August 31st, 2018 @ 3:44 PM
Last Updated: July 10th, 2020 @ 12:09 PM

Q. What is a sidewalk defect or damage?

A. There are various levels and types of damage, but any crack or vertical offset of more than ¼ inch is considered a defect, according to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines. Damaged sidewalks create unsafe conditions for pedestrians.

Q. Why should I repair my sidewalk?

A. If someone trips in front of your house, you could be sued for damages. Sidewalk defects could also create problems for children, seniors, wheelchair users and visually impaired or with special needs. All pedestrians benefit from safe sidewalks.

Q. Doesn't Measure KK pay for sidewalk repair?

A. It does! It helps ensure that the City takes care of its sidewalks--at parks, libraries, and other City facilities, and those sidewalks damaged by official City trees. In fact, Oakland's $1M annual budget for sidewalks is entirely funded by Measure KK. But again, these funds are limited to repairing City-tree damaged sidewalks, sidewalk damage at City facilities, and facilitating private property sidewalk repairs.

Q. What does the permit cost for sidewalk repair?

A. Please verify the permit fees with the City's Permit Counter. A typical permit for sidewalk repair is $461 (for less than 200 square feet) and approximately $0.93 additional per square foot if greater than 200 square feet (according to Oakland’s Master Fee Schedule). There may be additional fees for driveways, curbs and gutters. These fees cover City inspection and recording costs.

Q. May a property owner repair a sidewalk damaged by an official City tree?

A. Property owners may repair such sidewalks at their own expense. The City will assist with inspection and, while a Sidewalk Permit is still required, the City will waive the cost of the permit.

Q. How do I report a sidewalk defect?

A. Report the problem using Oak311. The City will send an inspector. If there’s a problem, a “Notice to Repair” will be issued to the responsible party.